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the-south-asian.com                               April  2001

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Page  1  of  11

Zarathusthra.jpg (31353 bytes)
Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds

 

Parsis - The Zoroastrians of India

by 

Sooni Taraporevala

The following text is an extract  from the book
'Zoroastrians of India: Parsis: A Photographic Journey' 
by Sooni Taraporevala.
 
c 2000 Sooni Taraporevala. 
Reproduced with permission of Good Books, Mumbai, India.

By the year 2020, India will have achieved the dubious distinction of

being the most populated country on earth with 1200 million people. At

that point, Parsis who will number 23,000 or 0.0002 per cent of the

population, will cease to be termed a community and will be labelled a

'tribe', as is any ethnic group below the 30,000 count. Demographically, we are a dying

 community - our deaths outweigh our births.

 

Parsis are a people who uprooted themselves and moved to a different world to save 

their religion. We migrated to India one thousand
years ago. The Parsi experience is 

about dilemmas that most minority
communities face; questions about religion and 

race, survival and
extinction, assimilation and identity, tradition and the modern 

world.
There are only 100,000 Parsis in the world today, mostly in India, particularly 

in Bombay. Demographically, we are a dying community-our
deaths outweigh our 

births. Parsis like to quote a remark that Mahatma
Gandhi once reportedly made, "In 

numbers Parsis are beneath contempt, but
in contribution, beyond compare." Out of 

an Indian population of more than one billion, Parsis number a mere 76,000. 

Demographic trends project that by the year 2020, India will have achieved the 

dubious distinction of being the most populated country on earth with 1200 million 

people. At that point, Parsis who will number 23,000 or 0.0002 per cent of the

population, will cease to be termed a community and will be labelled a 'tribe', as is 

any ethnic group below the 30,000 count.

next page

 

Parsis - The Zoroastrians of India

The story of the Ancestors

Arrival in India and the beginnings of a new life

The Early Entrepreneurs of Bombay

Pioneers of Modern India

Eminent Parsis of India

What is Zoroastrianism?

Who was Zarathustra?

Rituals, Customs & Manners

 


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